Vikings Rumors: Minnesota 'adored' Lions rookie RB before 2023 NFL Draft

Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs
Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

One of the latest Minnesota Vikings rumors reveals that the team would have seriously considered drafting Detroit Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs in 2023.

For the second season in a row under head coach Kevin O'Connell, the Minnesota Vikings rushing attack was one of the worst in the NFL in 2023. In their 17 regular-season games, the Vikings ranked 28th in the league in rushing attempts, 29th in rushing yards, and 24th in rushing yards per carry.

Minnesota's struggles on the ground weren't entirely O'Connell's fault, as the team didn't exactly have top-notch talent at the top of their running back depth chart this past season either with Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler leading the way.

However, things could have potentially been very different for the Vikings rushing attack in 2023, at least according to a recent rumor that was shared with the public.

Vikings Rumors: Drafting Detroit Lions RB Jahmyr Gibbs was almost a "serious consideration" for Minnesota

When the Detroit Lions submitted their selection for the No. 12 pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, few predicted what ended up happening soon after.

In front of a massive crowd in Kansas City, Missouri, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped up to the podium and announced that with the 12th overall selection in the 2023 draft, the Lions had used their pick on Jahmyr Gibbs, a running back from the University of Alabama.

Heading into the draft, Gibbs was expected by most to come off of the board late in the first round or early in round two. So Detroit using pick No. 12 on him was certainly a surprise.

But the Lions were confident in their selection, and looking back at the 2023 season, Gibbs turned out to be a great pick. In 15 games with Detroit in 2023, the young running back accumulated 1,261 total yards (945 rushing, 315 receiving) and 11 touchdowns.

Minnesota definitely could have used some of this production in their offensive backfield this past season, and according to a recent report, Gibbs beginning his NFL career in a Vikings uniform almost happened.

According to The Athletic's Alec Lewis, Minnesota "adored" the former Alabama running back heading into the 2023 draft, and selecting him with pick No. 23 in the first round would have been a "serious consideration" for the Vikings if he was still on the board.

This is certainly an interesting nugget to find out after what Gibbs was able to do out on the field in his first season with the Lions.

At the same time, there's also no guarantee that he would have had similar production in Minnesota's offense in 2023, given O'Connell's habit of abandoning his rushing attack during his first two seasons with the Vikings.

One would like to think that Minnesota's offensive backfield would have had a better chance at being successful in 2023 with Gibbs on the roster. But the young running back really landed in a perfect situation in Detroit, and now, instead of helping the Vikings for the next few years, he's going to be a problem for them twice per season.